Covenanting Revolution and Municipal Enterprise

Allan Macinnes traces how commercial prosperity and economic assertiveness (fuelled by religious radicalism) led to Glasgow's participation in resistance to Charles I in the 1630s, and to a model for a future constitutional Scotland.

The Scottish revolt against Charles I was instituted at the general assembly held in Glasgow between November 22nd and December 20th, 1638. The general assembly was attended by about 165 ministers and 100 elders (lay commissioners) from burghs and presbyteries. Its composition, proceedings and agenda were rigorously managed by the Tables, the disaffected element opposed to the continuance of Charles I's personal rule. The Tables had co-ordinated the petitioning against the authoritarian imposition of religious innovations in the months following the riots against the Service Book in Edinburgh in July 1657, petitioning which had culminated in their issuing of the National Covenant on February 28th, 1638. A nationalist as well as a deceptively radical manifesto, the National Covenant was intent on imposing fundamental limitations on monarchical power.

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